Air: Please consult with your Lipscomb Missions PoC to purchase plane tickets. We have partnerships with a few travel agencies through which all airfare is purchased. Your PoC will work with the travel agents and provide quotes with important dates: deadlines for paying a deposit to reserve your tickets, when names must be added to each ticket, and when the total balance is due.
Ground: If necessary, secure ground transportation in advance. Some hosts provide this at a flat rate; other trips may require you to find and book on your own. Your PoC can help you find the best option. If team leaders are driving, be sure to review traffic laws for your location and secure the appropriate insurance before your trip.
Discuss housing with your host; they will often have recommendations for the most affordable, convenient, and accommodating hotels/housing. Book months in advance for better rates and more options. Condense as much as possible for cost effectiveness (it is ok to sleep 2 people per double bed). If provided by host, find out cost and be sure to include it as part of your pre-trip budget.
If going out of the United States, carry larger bills with you for a more effective exchange rate. Keep all funds in a safe/secure location. If team members are allotted a daily or trip-long stipend, distribute after reaching your location. If using a trip-long stipend, share the amount allotted per day with team for personal tracking/monitoring purposes.
Maintain consistent communication with your host. Have one team leader do this (typically primary) in order to avoid confusion. Set trip dates and develop a plan/schedule with your host that fits within their vision and purpose; these trips are not solely based on our own thoughts and opinions. Provide support to the work already being done. Be sure to share pertinent information (flight itinerary, trip plans, team size, etc) with your host and inform them of any changes that may arise throughout the pre-trip process.
Team members will become both mentally and physically exhausted, so taking time to relax and enjoy God’s beauty in a different place in the world can rejuvenate and inspire your team. A free day is a great mid-trip activity to re-energize your team for the final stretch, or even at the end of a trip as a healthy beginning to transitioning home and experiencing culture shock. Hosts will be able to provide several nearby, popular options. Recommendations: sightseeing, relaxation (beach, park, etc), fun (athletic event, performance, etc).
Team meetings should be efficient and effective. Team members should be engaged in the meetings; have interactive time, not just team leaders talking at team members. Go into each meeting with a detailed agenda; don’t make it up on the fly. If you don’t have things to work on or talk about, don’t meet. Team meetings serve as an ideal time for spiritual preparation and team building activities; they don’t have to be just for discussing details and logistics. Have some meetings that are specifically devoted to team building and spiritual preparation: get together off campus for a meal, go serve together somewhere in the Nashville community, etc. If meeting on a weekly basis, try to keep meetings to one hour or less. Expect all team members to be in attendance. Make meetings a priority; set a limit for number of absences. Have team members hold other team members accountable for being there. Schedule all of your pre-trip meetings early on so team members can plan accordingly. Remember to reserve the missions center well in advance for your meetings; you can book your whole semester’s meeting times all at once. Click here to do so.
Always provide your team with an updated packing list. Every year you will have some new team members who do not know what your trip will be like. Include everything down to the smallest detail (# of clothing items, specific toiletries, amount of spending money, etc). The more thorough, the fewer last minute questions from your team members.